Developing Kodachrome In Rodinal

Aaah, Kodachrome. Sui generis. An era. A legendary medium.

When I learned that Kodachrome development would be stopped, I immediately bought all different Kodachrome types I could find. At that moment, only Kodachrome 64 /135 was available fresh, but I found some expired Kodachrome 25 /135 and 200 /135 as well, and, several rolls Kodachrome 64 /120. I was so eager to have medium format Kodachrome slides to project with my venerable Rollei projector. But it was not meant to be. Medium format Kodachrome development had been halted even before 135 format development, something that hadn’t been clear to me. All my hopes were for naught. What remains after hope has flickered and died? Well, new hope!

Hope, that I would indeed be able to salvage an image off the film via monochrome development! I firmly believe in Rodinal, so I was also certain that I would be able to duplicate the feat previously reported and cross-process Kodachrome into monochrome negatives. I had read of it not being quite so easy, especially because of the antihalation backing – rem-jet.

But, what good is it being an alchemist if one does not experiment?

So it came to pass that I put my first exposed Kodachrome 64 medium format roll into my AP developing tank and commenced the development process.

I had exposed the film in one of my lovely Lubitels using a hand-held exposure meter, so the images should have been well-exposed.

However, what is the best method to develop film when you do not know the development times (and/or exposure)? That’s right, stand development!

Normally, when using stand development, I only use a water stop to arrest development because of the tiny developer amounts and the insignificance of a few more minutes of development. To aid in dissolving the remjet layer, however, I used a standard citric acid stop bath this time. I do not know if it made a difference, but after the process, I was able to remove the remjet with gentle scrubbing with kitchen paper. It was hard work and I did not manage to clean every streak, but I was able to scan the negatives and one can even distinguish images! I have no idea how they would print, though.

Have a look:

All images Copyright by A. V. Behrens, all rights reserved.

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